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Grant Elementary School amps up safety measures

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 | 6:35 p.m. CST; updated 6:40 p.m. CST, Wednesday, November 17, 2010

COLUMBIA — Grant Elementary School has taken steps to protect students after a man disobeyed police at the school.

Columbia police arrested the man, Sidney Lyles, on Thursday on suspicion of trespassing, according to Columbia police reports.

He arrived at the campus and didn't cooperate with school administrators when asked why he was there, Principal Beverly Borduin said.

“I handle any incident the same way,” Borduin said, adding that because Lyles was uncooperative, the school alerted the police.

As a result, Lyles is not allowed on Grant Elementary School property, Borduin said.

Lyles previously worked as an administrative assistant at Benton Elementary School. He was fired in 2005 and subsequently sued Columbia Public Schools, claiming his termination was related to his race.

He lost the lawsuit and appealed in 2008, again without success, according to the appellate court’s decision.

Borduin sent an e-mail to Grant families Monday outlining the following safety precautions:

  • All exterior doors are locked, with the exception of the doors nearest the office.
  • All trailers and the EcoSchoolhouse are locked.
  • Students are escorted among the trailers and EcoSchoolhouse and the main building.
  • Recess continues as usual, with supervision.
  • Staff members carry cell phones and walkie-talkies to alert the office in the event of an emergency.
  • Police will be called immediately if Lyles is spotted.

The most inconvenient of the measures is that visitors must knock on the school’s front doors, Borduin said. But otherwise, everything has operated smoothly, she said.

“The children have handled things really well,” she said. “We tell them, ‘You lock doors at home to keep out strangers.’ And that’s what we do here. We’ve just been locking our doors.”


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Comments

Cecilia Lyles March 3, 2011 | 1:50 a.m.

I am truly sadden by this very misleading story printed about my brother.The reason sidney was at the school was to take a look at his child Myra, who was born a few days after the death of our mother.Myra's mother and my brother are no longer together as he does share joint custody of the child.However,as a result of baby moma drama he has opted to just take a look at his child as often as he can. Even if it meant standing across the street from her school in close proximty so she could see his face. Sometime a child needs to look at the other parent good,bad or indifferent to know they are still loved regardless. I am not saying not identifying yourself to authorities is okay.But i can assure the parents,teachers and citizens of columbia have nothing to fear in terms of harm by my brother he was molded by a phenomenal women and she left him with the fear of God as well as substainibility skills.(Dont look down on no man if you are not offering a hand to pick him up)That being said If columbia school system needs to implement procedural guidance for visitors?Implement safety guidance procedures because it needed to be in place long before my brother walked by the school?If by chance the gossip hawks and naysayers are so bent on ringing Sidney Lyles name as the reason you decided or needed school ground safety procedures for the kids in columbia. Why don't you name the Safety Guidance Sidney Lyles DDAD Program
(DISENFRANCHISED DADS ARE DEDICATED). Do background checks on fathers and mothers separated from their children find out if they have skills that can help their kids school .Invite them in the school not lock them up.Maybe have a townhall meeting/Think Tank and save the school system some money.These parents could volunteer there time to patrol the school and help lift the esteem of kids who have a parent not living in the home with them.Do you think that my neice is elated that you locked her dad up or feeling responsible for him being locked up for trying to show his face to let her know he cares about her without the baby moma drama?

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